Election 2019

Where Allegheny County’s midterm candidates stand on guns

A week after Squirrel Hill became synonymous with the nationwide gun control debate, voters here head to the polls Tuesday.

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Fuzzy Gerdes / Flickr
Sarah Anne Hughes

Updated, 6:11 p.m.

Pittsburghers go to the polls Tuesday, just a little over a week after a gunman killed 11 Jews inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue.

The massacre turned local elected officials’ attention back to guns, with some calling for stricter regulations, while people at several vigils chanted “Vote! Vote! Vote!”

With Squirrel Hill now being synonymous with the nationwide gun control debate, here’s a brief rundown of where Allegheny County’s midterm candidates stand on the issue.


Governor

Tom Wolf, Democrat (incumbent)

  • Supports banning “military-style weapons” like AR-15 rifles and bump stocks
  • Supports universal background checks
  • Signed HB 2060, which mandates weapon relinquishment after final protection from abuse orders
  • Endorsed by CeaseFirePA

Scott Wagner, Republican

  • Supports reviewing current background check policy, not universal background checks
  • Supports armed guards in schools
  • Wants tougher sentences for gun crimes, including (likely unconstitutional) mandatory death penalty for school shooters
  • Endorsed by NRA and Firearms Owners Against Crime

U.S. Senate

Bob Casey, Democrat (incumbent)

  • Supports expanded background checks
  • Supports an assault weapon ban and limiting magazine capacity
  • Endorsed by CeaseFirePA and Moms Demand Action

Lou Barletta, Republican

  • Supports expanded background checks and a bump stock ban
  • Voted in favor of concealed carry reciprocity
  • Endorsed by NRA and Firearms Owners Against Crime

17th District

Conor Lamb, Democrat

  • Supports universal background checks
  • Opposes ban on assault weapons
  • Endorsed by Gabby Giffords and Moms Demand Action

Keith Rothfus, Republican

  • Opposes expanded background checks
  • Opposes ban on assault weapons
  • Endorsed by NRA

18th District

Mike Doyle, Democrat (incumbent)

  • Supports ban on assault weapons and bump stocks
  • Supports expanded background checks
  • Wants to prohibit gun sales to people with a hate crime conviction

Pa. Senate

District 38

Lindsey Williams, Democrat

  • Supports universal background checks and closing online and gun-show loopholes
  • Opposes arming teachers

Jeremy Shaffer, Republican

  • Supports universal background checks
  • Touts support for Second Amendment on site
  • Endorsed by NRA

Pa. House

District 23

Dan Frankel, Democrat (incumbent)

  • Co-chair of SAFE caucus, which advocates for stricter gun laws
  • Voted in favor of HB 2060, which mandates weapon relinquishment after final protection from abuse orders
  • Top rating from CeaseFirePA

Jay Walker, Green Party

  • Supports ban on assault weapons and large magazines
  • Supports universal background checks

District 25

Brandon Markosek, Democrat

  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

Stephen Schlauch, Republican

  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 28

Emily Skopov, Democrat

  • Supports universal background checks and ban on assault weapons
  • Endorsed by CeaseFirePA

Mike Turzai, Republican (incumbent)

  • Voted in favor of HB 2060, which mandates weapon relinquishment after final protection from abuse orders
  • Voted against amendment to extend background checks to private sale of long guns
  • Spoke at “Make the Second Amendment Great Again” rally
  • Bottom rating from CeaseFirePA
  • Endorsement revoked by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 30

Betsy Monroe, Democrat

Lori Mizgorski, Republican

  • Supports universal background checks
  • Wants funding for armed officers in schools

District 33

Frank Dermody, Democrat (incumbent)

  • Voted in favor of HB 2060, which mandates weapon relinquishment after final protection from abuse orders
  • Voted in favor of HB 671, which would supersede local gun laws
  • Voted against amendment to extend background checks to private sale of long guns
  • Bottom rating from CeaseFirePA

Joshua Nulph, Republican

  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 39

Rob Rhoderick, Democrat

  • No campaign statement

Mike Puskaric, Republican

  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 40

Sharon Guidi, Democrat

Natalie Mihalek, Republican

  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 44

Michele Knoll, Democrat

  • Supports universal background checks and banning bump stocks

Valerie Gaydos, Republican

  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 46

Byron Timmins, Democrat

  • Supports universal background checks and “common sense gun safety laws”

Jason Ortitay, Republican (incumbent)

  • Co-sponsored bill that would allow concealed carry without a permit
  • Voted against HB 2060, which mandates weapon relinquishment after final protection from abuse orders
  • Wants to “Make the Second Amendment Great Again
  • Supports moving from Pennsylvania Instant Check System to National Instant Check System
  • Bottom rating from CeaseFirePA
  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

District 54

Jon McCabe, Democrat

  • Supports universal background checks and waiting periods to purchase guns
  • Wants to ban bump stocks and close the gun-show loophole

Bob Brooks, Republican

  • NRA member who touts “defending our Second Amendment rights” on his website
  • Endorsed by Firearms Owners Against Crime

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